How to protect your family from the dangers of the internet

Reviewed & edited by Marcella Raskin. This blog is supported by its readers. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

girl with ipad

The internet is a great place to gather information, share ideas, and connect with people. It can also be dangerous. There are many ways that kids can get themselves into trouble online.

Some of the most common problems include cyberbullying and sharing inappropriate content with strangers without understanding the consequences.

As a parent, you want to protect your children from these dangers by giving them the tools they need to stay safe on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter and chat rooms or gaming sites.

This blog post explores ten tips for safe internet use that will help keep your family protected!

Create a family-wide internet use agreement with your children.

A family-wide agreement will help keep everyone accountable and on the same page about what’s expected of them while they’re online. This is particularly important when kids can go online without direct supervision, like at a friend’s house or during school breaks.

Be sure to include the following topics in your agreement:

  • What appropriate and inappropriate content is, and how to recognize it.
  • Who kids can share information with online (and offline).
  • Where to go for help if someone requests personal info from them or makes them feel uncomfortable?
  • Limits on screen time/device usage per day/week.
  • Rules around downloading apps that are not parent-approved.
  • The purpose behind their activity (educational vs. social).
  • Encourage them to play outside with friends instead of staying on the computer all day.

Family meeting about internet safety.

Have a family meeting about internet safety, and use this as a starting point for your agreement. Talk to your kids about what they’re doing online and set clear parameters for internet use.

By creating an internet use family agreement, you will be able to protect your children more effectively by helping them understand right from wrong when it comes to getting online!

Discuss consequences for breaking the rules in the agreement. Thoroughly explain each of the rules that you establish.

Be sure to give your children opportunities throughout their childhood and teenage years to ask questions or voice concerns about what’s expected of them online, as well as any worries they may have about staying safe on social media sites like Facebook.

Open Dialogue.

An open dialogue will help build trust between you and your child while also making it easier for kids to come forward if they are being cyberbullied or feel unsafe sharing personal information with others. It can be helpful to make internet use time limits during weekdays (when school is in session) so that family members don’t develop screen addictions.

Discussing these guidelines ahead of time makes it more likely that everyone will follow through with agreed-upon rules because consequences will be established. Don’t forget to include yourself in this agreement, too – you are your child’s first line of defense against the dangers online!

kids on computer

Get to know the websites and apps that your child is visiting.

Be involved with their social media accounts so you know who they’re talking to.

It’s essential to know the layout of your child’s accounts, including which sites they’re visiting and their usernames and passwords on those websites. This allows you to monitor what information is being shared publicly vs. privately with friends or strangers.

Your children will also be more likely to come forward if they’re experiencing problems online because you’ll be able to address them immediately.

Be aware of who your child is interacting with offline too!

Make sure other parents have vetted their friends in the community or school since this can help limit exposure to cyberbullying situations that may arise if a friend shares inappropriate content with them without understanding its consequences.

As a parent, you have to be aware of what your child is up to when they’re online! This includes being familiar with the apps installed on their phone or tablet and checking each one for inappropriate content posted by friends before allowing them access.

Monitor their cell phone usage – know who they’re talking to and what sites they’re visiting. 

Install parental control software on their devices to block inappropriate content.

Install software like Net Nanny that blocks inappropriate content on all children’s devices like tablets, phones, and gaming consoles.

Ensure the parental control software is installed on all devices your child uses, including phones, computers, tablets, and gaming consoles. This will help you monitor who they’re talking to online as well as what sites are being visited.

Depending on age, you may want to set up separate user accounts for children to use on their devices. This allows each family member to have the appropriate parental controls configured for them without affecting other users of the same machine (s).

vpn

Basic Security Tips for Your Home Network.

Use a VPN service to protect your kids while they’re online.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service like Ivacy or Fastest VPN to encrypt your web traffic and hide the sites you’re visiting online from others who may be using the same network as you, including public Wi-Fi at cafés or airports. This will also help prevent websites from tracking which other sites have been visited by users of that device, so personal information isn’t shared with third parties without permission.

When it comes to protecting your kids online, a VPN Service is excellent for encrypting web traffic, so strangers or peers won’t see what’s being browsed — they’ll only see encrypted code! This will help protect against cyberbullying situations where children may be tricked into visiting harmful sites through friends who share inappropriate content with them without knowing its consequences. Use these services on all devices your child uses, like phones, tablets, gaming consoles, etc.

Avoid using public computers to access accounts or enter personal information.

  • Don’t use public computers for online banking or other personal activities like applying for jobs, etc.
  • Use a private browsing window in your web browser so you can clear the history and cookies after each session.
  • When using any computer that isn’t yours, make sure to sign out of user accounts after finishing! 
  • This will remove passwords from the device’s autofill function and erase all activity by closing all open browsers/tabs before signing off. 
  • Never leave an account logged into another person’s machine without permission since they could access it later if they come across it.

Keep the software updated.

Regularly update all software on home computers, including operating systems, antivirus, VPN, and firewalls, for better protection when browsing online!

It will also help fix issues related to websites not loading correctly or running slowly after being visited several times, which can be frustrating for everyone using it.

Turn off pop-up ads on web pages, or block them with a browser extension. 

Turn off pop-up ads on webpages through browser settings to help these not load while browsing. Use ad blockers when viewing content online – they’re free and easy to install in most browsers today!

If your children have cell phones, make sure they’re password-protected.

Only those allowed in know what’s being said or who is being contacted through messaging apps or calls. Check the security configuration of all devices and make sure a password is always required to access them.

Review each device’s security settings regularly, including voice assistant apps like Siri or Alexa if they’re enabled on your kids’ phones. Others can access these with physical access to their phone, so you want to know who may have been asking for information from these apps and controlling smart home devices via voice commands.

Password protection makes it more likely that only authorized accounts will have access to this kind of personal data! 

Check for security configurations like two-factor authentication that will help keep accounts safe.

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection by requiring a temporary code to be entered before allowing login or changing settings within an account after it has been accessed once successfully, which helps reduce unauthorized activity in user accounts even further than just having a password alone does. 

Your child may already have a phone with this setup, so it’s good to be aware of what they may have in place.

internet kids

Keep up with the latest technology news so you can be aware of new threats online. 

Read the news so you can be aware of new threats to your internet security. This information will help keep computers, devices, and accounts safe while browsing online! Keeping up with new technology and internet security news is vital to protecting your child online, so regularly check sources like newspapers or popular websites for this information.

Check out websites like Common Sense Media or Cyberbullying Research Center for age-appropriate content guides and tips.

Teach them about cyberbullying.

This includes how to report it if they are being bullied or see someone else being bullied online.

Ensure your child knows how to report cyberbullying they might see or experience themselves when using the internet and social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. This is important for protecting them from harm while online!

Educate them on cyberbullying and how it can affect someone, including the emotions involved with being bullied or witnessing others getting treated this way online.

What does cyberbullying look like?

Online bullying can happen anywhere with an internet connection, making it hard to avoid if someone wants you to harm. One example includes posting embarrassing photos taken without consent from another person onto websites where many can see or share them. Another type of cyberbullying is harassing messages and comments sent to someone through social media, instant messaging services, etc.

How can they report it?

Reporting bullying online should be done the same way as any other kind of unkind behavior that might happen at school or around others – by telling an adult who can help! This includes family members such as parents, teachers, counselors, coaches (for those involved with sports teams), etc. They need to know what’s happening to do something about this treatment before things get worse.

How To Protect My Child On The Internet

Talk with kids about appropriate content to know how to avoid it and what they should do if it pops up.

It’s important to talk about appropriate content with your kids when using the internet. Talk about what is considered inappropriate and how they can avoid seeing this type of thing online.

The best way to keep away from inappropriate content on the web is by filtering out all unallowed topics before allowing kids access to any kind of browsing at home, where you have control over these settings with apps like Net Nanny. This helps make sure harmful material isn’t popping up unexpectedly later.

Set rules for appropriate language in chat rooms, social media posts, and text messages.

It’s essential to set rules for using language online – even in chat rooms, social media posts, and text messages with friends. These conversations are public, so they may be viewed by others who do not want to see this kind of content too!

Be sure your kids know what is appropriate or inappropriate when conversing with others on the internet since chats are often seen publicly. This will help protect their reputations while making sure they’re staying safe at the same time online!

Chat rooms and instant messaging services are great for keeping in touch with friends while talking about personal things like homework or other aspects of life that require privacy!

Rules.

Some rules for using language online that may be helpful include avoiding talking about drugs, alcohol, or other adult content with others online.

It’s best to keep conversations free of swear words and any kinds of intimate innuendoes as well since these types of comments can reflect poorly on them if read by someone else who doesn’t know what they’re all about!

Be sure your kid understands how important it is not to share personal information like their full name, where they live (or school), etc., if they don’t know the recipient! This helps protect them from anyone wanting to do harm now or later while keeping things private that should stay this way too.

kids

Use a password manager to create strong passwords for all your accounts.

One way to keep your child’s information safe while online is by creating strong passwords for all their accounts. Password managers are great tools that help do this easily since they can make long, complex passwords with just a few clicks or keystrokes!

For kids who don’t understand the importance of using secure passwords yet, it may be helpful to use a password manager like LastPass – which helps them generate strong passwords automatically while saving all their login credentials in one place. This makes it easy for anyone to log into multiple sites and services securely without having weak or duplicate passwords everywhere!

Some features of these kinds of programs include: generating random unique passwords for different websites/services, so they’re harder to crack when someone breaks through security on one site, automatically filling in login credentials, so they don’t always have to remember every password everywhere (especially good for those who’ve used the exact words or phrases as their passwords), and saving all these logins with a single master password that only you know since it’s encrypted locally on your machine.

Check the privacy settings on social media sites before friending or following anyone.

Before allowing your kids to follow others on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, etc., be sure they check the privacy settings first.

For example, you can change these settings yourself in less than a minute by clicking “Settings” at the top of any page and then scrolling down to find them under General Settings. You should look for options that let you control who sees their posts and photos before accepting new followers too! This helps protect their reputations online while making sure everyone is safe with what they share publicly everywhere else as well!

Limit friend requests from strangers.

Having an open profile where anyone worldwide can contact someone privately without having friends in common may seem fantastic. Still, it’s not always this way since anyone can send private messages, including ones who have bad intentions.

This is why it’s best to limit friend requests from strangers, turn off private messages on public pages, and always check the privacy settings of any apps they’re using before sharing anything publicly or privately with friends online!

Conclusion.

One of the most important things you can do for your kids is to help them stay safe online. Our blog post has given you ten tips that will help provide a safe internet environment for your family. No one wants their child exposed to inappropriate content or cyberbullying, so take advantage of these simple safety precautions when surfing the internet with our children!

What are some other ways parents can protect their kids from being exposed to harmful material?

We would love to hear what works for you and how we can all work together towards safer use of technology at home!

Author

  • Marcella Raskin is the founder & editor-in-chief. She is a passionate and articulate writer who has dedicated her life to studying human potential. She has studied Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Life Purpose Coaching, Group Life Coaching. She loves helping women (and men) explore themselves through writing, which allows for an exploration into one's thoughts on entrepreneurship or personal development topics such as mindset-shaping techniques that can positively shape someone's perspectives about themselves when they don't think it could ever happen! She practices sports and has studied Exercise Physiology. She is married and the mother of two girls.

Leave a Comment